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    Entries in fresh is best (23)

    Tuesday
    Jul022013

    Peach Cobbler, Cookies

    Because I had peaches.

    I spent the day baking today, with the bedroom air conditioner (only air conditioner) on full blast and the bedroom door open, with a fan in the hallway directing the cool air into the kitchen.

    What? I wanted to bake.

    I made bacon and onion quiche, banana almond muffins, and peach cobbler cookies. 

    Yes, peach cobbler in a cookie.

    I'm back at turning things that aren't cookies into cookies. And making way too many of them.

    Peach Cobbler Cookies

    • 3/4 c butter
    • 1 1/2 c brown sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1 tsp cream
    • 2 c flour
    • 1/2 c ground almonds (or more flour)
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
    • 1 c chopped peaches

    And of course, stuff is missing from the ingredient pic. But it's not the vanilla. Because I forgot to put vanilla into the banana muffins, so I made sure it was on the counter for the cookies.

    NOTE: I made a double recipe.

    Cream together the very soft butter and brown sugar. I opted for brown sugar in this one to get that slightly caramelized flavour that you get from baking fruit. White sugar would also work, and would result in a lighter, more biscuit like colour, but I wanted caramel, so that's what I did.

    Add the egg (I doubled things, remember), vanilla, and cream and beat them all together.

    Sift in the flour, baking powder, and nutmeg. Or, just pile them up on top of the wet stuff and give the dry part a bit of a stir before stirring it into the wet.

    Add the ground almonds (also called almond flour, but not as finely textured as I think something should be in order to be called "flour") and then fold in the peaches.

    I contemplated tossing the peaches with a bit of flour or cornstarch, but ended up just dumping them in as is. I was using fresh peaches though. If you're trying this with canned, I suggest opting for the extra bit of flour.

    The dough will be very soft, and feel borderline too soft. Fridge it. After only about 15 minutes, the edges will have firmed up, and since you're dropping this by tablespoon onto parchment paper, the edges are all you need. Just put the bowl back into the fridge while the first batch bakes.

    When you're baking on a hot day, leave the preheating of the oven to the last minute.

    350 degrees.

    Bake for 12 minutes. They'll be golden on the edges, but soft and cakey in the middle.

    Soft and cakey with sweet bursts of bright summer flavour.

    What are you doing with all of your summer peaches?

     

    Friday
    May312013

    Basil Lemonade - Summer has Arrived!

    Now that Memorial Day has passed, it’s time to pull out the white pants, bright colors, and sandals.  Not that I’m a fashionista.  If I manage to make it out the door with my apron off and shoes on the right feet, I consider it a success.  Fortunately, I can find my way around a kitchen better than I can a closet.  This fresh squeezed lemonade with a hint of basil in the background is the perfect way to escape the heat.

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    • 1 ½ cups lemon juice
    • 1 ½ cups sugar
    • 8 cups water
    • Fresh Basil

    Be sure to give your basil a good rinse before you start… unless you like bugs in your lemonade. 

    Put the sugar and 2 cups of the water in a saucepan over medium heat. 

    Continue to stir until the sugar is completely dissolved and bubbles are forming on the sides and bottom of the pan. 

    Turn off the heat and throw in the basil. 

    While that’s steeping, juice your lemons.  (If you don’t have a press juicer you can use a reamer, but you might want to strain out some of the pulp.)

    When you’ve finished with that, your basil should be nice and wilted and the syrup will have the gorgeous aroma of basil.  It has served its purpose now, so go ahead and remove it from the pan and discard it. 

    First into the pitcher goes the lemon juice. 

    Next is the remaining 6 cups of water.

    And last but not least, the basil syrup. 

    And there you have it, beautiful, refreshing lemonade.  Now into the fridge to get nice and cold. 

    Serve over ice and garnish with a couple of lemon slices and basil leaves. 

    What’s your favorite thing about summer?